ACNielsen has monitored the extent and quality of distribution of tobacco advertising at point of sale since 1996. For this year's study, measurements were established as follows:
These parameters are similar to those of previous studies, and the current findings build on results of past measurements. This year's measurement is second one taken following the date when a total ban on tobacco sponsorship advertising at point-of-sale was imposed by the federal government. The first measurement after the ban was taken in 2000. Prior to the ban, sponsorship-related advertising represented a major portion of tobacco advertisements at retail. The latest survey, therefore, provides an indication of the evolution of tobacco point-of-sale merchandising since sponsorship restrictions were imposed a few years ago. It should be clarified that the use of the words "advertising" or "ad" in this section refer more accurately to tobacco merchandising and promotional materials at point-of-sale.
This survey is the first to be taken since tighter restrictions were placed on product placement and display in Saskatchewan. Under the Tobacco Control Act of that province that came into effect in 2002, any retail establishment selling tobacco and frequented by persons below eighteen years of age must ensure that tobacco products are hidden from view. Later in this section we will report results based on compliance with this aspect of Saskatchewan law.
To qualify as a tobacco ad, promotional materials had to identify tobacco brand names, logos or trademarks directly. Any promotional materials void of such identifying trademarks did not receive distribution credit, even if these materials depicted events, images or bore colors that are associated with tobacco products or the companies that manufacture them.
At the national level, the nature and availability of tobacco-related POS material has not changed since the last measurements taken in 2000. Across five classes of trade and thirty cities, an estimated 32.7% of retailers carried some form of point-of-sale advertising. This weighted national figure is the lowest distribution of POS tobacco ads since measurements were first taken in 1996. However, statistically, the figure is not significantly lower than the 35.2% in 2000.
Nationally, no single piece of POS advertising material was found in more than twenty-eight percent of stores (compares with twenty-seven percent in 2000). Following the ban on tobacco sponsorship advertising, after the 1999 results, tobacco companies realigned their in-store merchandising vehicles. The traditional predominance of posters was replaced by the shift to counter-top displays. The strategies adopted then appear to be in place still today. Among specific forms of POS ads, counter-top displays remain the predominant ad form available in the largest percentage of stores (28.0% distribution, a figure comparable to the 26.6% of the previous study).
The one further change that has taken place since the last measurement in 2000 is the virtual disappearance of "other" forms of POS merchandise, typically trademarked tobacco calendars and wall clocks, as a means of promotion. These items are almost completely phased out following the sponsorship ban, but interestingly, some three percent of stores nationally still have such items on display.
|All Ad Types||36.0||37.4||39.1||40.8||35.2||32.7|
|Counter - Top Displays||13.6||17.0||19.8||17.4||26.6||28.0|
|Other Ad Types||14.8||16.1||18.6||19.2||10.3||2.5|
In comparison with findings in 2000, the distribution of tobacco ads was measurably lower, or nil this year, in seventeen of the core twenty-five cities both studies had in common. Eight of the thirty cities we surveyed in all had no ads whatsoever, including seven core cities and Moncton, one of the new cities surveyed for the first time this year.
Retailers in the Atlantic region, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and BC were the least likely to have ads; those in Quebec and Alberta, the most likely. In Alberta, despite the relatively great percentage of retail outlets with tobacco POS, the current ad distribution levels are nonetheless lower than they were in 2000. This is not the case in Quebec, where ad distribution levels are not only high, but where, across the four cities surveyed in that province, distribution is as high or higher now than it was two years ago.
Retailers in both cities measured in Saskatchewan are among those with no tobacco POS materials in their stores at all, and reporting among the most significant decreases since the last survey. The recent law change in this province obviously is responsible for the removal of tobacco-related advertising at point-of-sale.
In the majority of cities where distribution has decreased, this can be attributed to declines in distribution of the ad types that were most popular in 2000: chiefly counter-top displays and shelf-talkers.
Tobacco ad distribution was lowest (less than 10.0%) in those areas shown in the table (next page):
Weighted- All Stores
Changes in Point-of-Sale Ad Distribution Across Regions - 2002 vs 2000 Results
Eight communities of the core twenty-five reported higher ad distribution this year than in 2000. In most of these, the percentage of retail outlets with tobacco POS remains below the national average, but this is not the case everywhere. As indicated above, absolute distribution of tobacco POS advertising remains above average across Alberta and Quebec, but it is in Quebec that levels have actually increased over those measured in 2000. Outside these provinces, the only city where levels are high and have increased since the last measurement is Windsor. Interestingly, Windsor was on the net gainers list last time as well. Proximity to the US border may be a factor keeping POS ad levels in Windsor higher than in other parts of Ontario.
The cities where tobacco ad distribution levels are highest are shown in the table below. The list includes three cities with the largest absolute increase in ad distribution since the last survey. These are: Sherbrooke, Chicoutimi/Jonquiere and Sudbury. Not on this list is Campbell River/Courtnay, Vancouver and St. John's, NFLD, where, relatively high distribution increases aside, the absolute levels remain relatively low (about twenty percent for each city).
Weighted- All Stores
Changes in Point-of-Sale Ad Distribution Across Regions - 2002 vs 2000 Results
In all of these cities, ad distribution remained higher or increased chiefly as the result of the established presence and/or added proliferation of counter-top displays.
Quebec City and Sherbrooke were the only two areas of the country with ad distribution above sixty percent. Three other cities: Windsor, Montreal and Red Deer had distribution above fifty percent.
POS Ad Share By Type
Nationally, counter-top displays now account for virtually all of the tobacco POS materials at retail. These displays make up eighty percent (79.8%) of the ad forms out there. The figure is higher than it was in 2000 and, indeed, represents the highest level of concentration ever for any single form of tobacco advertising.
The only reason counter-top displays are more important now than before is because other forms of tobacco advertising are fewer in stores. The actual percentage of stores with counter-top displays has not changed since last time, nor has the average number of displays in stores increased. Just over a quarter of all stores carry these displays now as in 2000, and the average store has 1.6 counter-top displays in place today, compared with 1.9 in the last survey.
There hardly remain stores displaying posters, danglers or "other" forms of tobacco advertising (eg: calendars, clocks). None of these ad forms is found in more than 2.5% of stores nationally. The presence of shelf-talkers is a little higher today than in 2000, but these too are available in no more than 3.1% of stores. Where any of these ad forms are still in place, retailers carry no more today, on average, than they did before. The situation reflects the restrictions on tobacco sponsorship advertising that have been in effect for the last several years.
All things considered, today there are far less of the specifically-measured POS tobacco ads than at anytime in the recent past.
Regionally, tobacco advertising patterns often mimic the national findings. Counter-top displays were by far the most prominent forms of advertising left in most communities--- but not all:
Average Number Of Ads By Type Per Store
The average number of ads in stores with ads was 1.7. The number of ads per store carrying is lower than at any time since 1997, at the same time that the number of stores with any ads has dropped.
Note: These averages cannot be added to arrive at a cumulative total because not all stores carry all ads. The combined average is an estimate calculated by dividing the total number of ads in distribution by the number of retail outlets that have at least one in-store tobacco ad. Store averages for individual types of ads are arrived at by dividing the total number of ads of that
Tobacco Point-of-Sale Ad Distribution & Share Summary - All Stores (Weighted)
Smaller-surface stores were more likely than larger-area stores to carry tobacco POS merchandising materials. The highest distribution of such goods was in convenience chains (57.8%), gas stations/kiosks (34.1%) and independent convenience stores (33.0%).
Across all channels those stores with tobacco POS materials, on average, had more than one piece per store.
Nationally, the percentage of each store type carrying POS ads was not substantially different from levels reported in 2000, except in pharmacies and grocery supermarkets. Substantially fewer pharmacies (4.7%) carry tobacco POS merchandising now than in 2000, and those that still do average fewer ads per store than in the past. Indeed, pharmacies were the least likely of any retail trade class to carry POS ads.
Across grocery stores, the distribution of POS ads was marginally higher than in 2000, and the average number of ads per store carrying was also up (from 1.9 pieces in 2000 to 2.5 pieces now). However, tobacco POS material is still likely to be found in no more than twelve percent of grocery stores.
Across each separate class of trade, counter-top displays were available in more stores than any other ad type. Once again, smaller-surface stores were the most likely to carry counter-top displays, and most of these stores with displays carried about two displays per location.
The incidence of "other" ad forms (i.e, wall clocks, calendars and the like) is much diminished, to the point very these items have all but disappeared from view in every class of trade.
Variations to these observations recorded at the national level may be found across cities and regions (refer to statistical summary tables in the Appendix).
Tobacco Point-of-Sale Advertising By Class Of Trade
(Weighted) All Ad Types - 2002
NOTE: Summary tables of advertising findings by city by class of trade are provided in the Appendix to this report.
Nationally, no statistically meaningful difference exists regarding the availability of tobacco advertising based on the proximity of stores to schools or malls. Across all cities, ad distribution was 31.5% in stores closest to schools/malls and 33.8% in stores further away.
Within the various trade classes, distribution differences based on location to schools/malls were largely insignificant, except in the case of convenience chains. Here, stores closer to schools or malls were less likely than those further away to carry ads. This is the first year that a shift in this direction was noted.
Tobacco Ad % Distribution
Based on Store proximity to Schools/Malls (Weighted) - 1997 - 2002
The recently adapted Tobacco Control Act of Saskatchewan is very clear in its prohibitions against certain sales promotion practices at point-of-sale. Among its provisions, the law:
We have seen elsewhere in this report that the law in Saskatchewan has effectively removed all tobacco-related point-of-sale advertising from Saskatchewan retail outlets where young persons are permitted to shop. We also discussed, in sections above, retailer compliance with the province's sign provisions, including the presence in a small minority of stores of "Operation ID" signs not allowed under the law. In this section we report on compliance with respect to Saskatchewan's prohibition against the display of tobacco products, in particular the display of product facings, at the tobacco counter and anywhere in view of young customers.
The great majority of retailers in both Regina and Saskatoon (93% in all) complied with Saskatchewan's new law and kept tobacco displays hidden from view. The compliance figures in Regina and Saskatoon separately are virtually the same (92% and 93%, respectively). A total of 319 stores were visited across both cities and the absolute number of stores actually found to be in violation of the law is relatively small.
Compliance in both cities was also very consistent across classes of retail trade. The lowest incidence of failure to keep tobacco displays from view was recorded in independent convenience stores in Regina (86% in compliance). Highest compliance was among grocery retailers in both cities. These were found 100% in compliance.
The table below summarizes our findings for this part of the survey:
% of Saskatchewan Retailers With Tobacco Product Hidden From View
 The definition of "posters" is self-explanatory. Broad definitions of the other forms of point-of-sale advertising are these: "counter-top display": a tobacco display either supplied by the manufacturer or set up by the retailer that is small enough to sit on the counter. A display credit will have been given whether or not an advertising backboard was attached.; "dangler" is a merchandising piece or strip of paper affixed to the shelf and that overhangs the advertised tobacco brand; "shelf-talkers" are two-dimensional ad strips that are attached flat to the shelf; "other promotional merchandise" include objects such as wall clocks or calendars that have tobacco brand names or corporate trademarks printed on them. Display credits were given to POS materials promoting tobacco sponsored events if these bore tobacco trademarks, but were not given to any retailer signs (hand drawn or otherwise) advertising tobacco products for sale in their store. Prefabricated tobacco elements to which facings are mounted on the regular power wall were treated as regular facings, and not given distribution credit.
 Discussed in the report, Final Report of Findings: 2000/01: Measurement of Retailer Compliance With Respect to the Tobacco Act & Provincial Toabcco Sales-to-Minors Legislation, ACNielsen, March 2001, p.69.
 Ibid, Part B.
 Ibid, pg. 76
 The Tobacco Control Act of Saskatchewan, Part II, Section 6 (1-3) and Section 7 (1-2).